Artie Lange, veteran comedian and former regular on The Howard Stern Program, delighted Comedy Cellar audiences in New York City recently by performing impromptu in his unexpected return to the stage.
Howard Stern‘s troubled sidekick Artie Lange returned to stand-up with a triumphant, surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar over the weekend — his first since his grisly suicide attempt in January.
“He had a great line when he opened the show,” comic Craig Gass told The Post’s Mandy Stadtmiller. “He said, ‘Well, folks, I gotta say I am so glad that Fashion Week is over because I am [bleep]ing exhausted.’ ”
The audience gave the schlumpy 42-year-old comedian a deafening ovation during the two midnight shows he played on Friday and Saturday, following Chris Tucker one night.
Could there be any better news for Artie fans who have no doubt agonized over the comedian’s troubled plight this past year, which included a suicide attempt? Well, there could be, but we shouldn’t hold our breaths if we are waiting for Artie’s return to Howard’s show on Sirius XM satellite radio.
Howard has hinted to the audience that an Artie return is not in the cards, and has brushed off callers who have inquired about Artie’s well being of late, usually claiming that he “doesn’t know” how Artie is or how he is doing. On the Wrap Up Show, producer Gary Dell’Abate recently mentioned that Artie has made overtures to him about coming in as a guest, and that likely isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever.
I understand that the Stern staff still feels the weighty burden from worrying about Artie’s health and psyche on a constant basis, and has been troubled by the pandora’s box that an Artie return engagement, or even visit, would open. But Gary and Howard have been a bit flip in this regard. Gary especially, who has sort of joked around with Wrap Up Show callers inquiring about Artie–at Artie’s expense.
Gary should recall that Artie took Gary on a USO tour a few years back to Afghanistan, despite Gary having no discernible performing talents, which advanced Gary’s career and did little for the magnanimous Lange.
Though Artie might not be appearing on Howard’s show anytime soon, J.D. Harmeyer, who pulls tape for Howard, also travels with Artie as part of his road crew on weekends, and video tapes his shows. If Artie is getting up on stage at the Comedy Cellar, it can’t be too long before he is scheduling gigs. If Harmeyer is still to serve Artie in the same capacity, Artie will likely become a very hot topic for Howard in absentia by nature of J.D.’s frequent on air appearances.